Over the weekend, I learned that Smile had won the 2011-2012 Maine Student Book Award! I don’t even think I was aware it was nominated–sometimes I find out about these things from my publisher, and sometimes I don’t. However, about a week ago, I received a bunch of letters from students in Maine, telling me they had all voted for me and were hoping I would win. Cut to a few days later, and I found out that I did!
From the MSBA website:
“The Maine Student Book Award is designed to expand literary horizons of students in grades 4-8 by encouraging them to read, evaluate, and enjoy a selection of new books and to choose a statewide favorite by written ballot each spring.”
4,077 kids voted, and Smile took it home with 746 votes. Thanks so much to everyone who voted, as well as the Maine Library Association, Maine Association of School Libraries, and Maine Reading Association.
To celebrate, I’ve added a new event to my calendar: the Maine Comics Arts Festival, happening on Sunday, May 20 in Portland, ME! I was there 2 years ago and it is a lovely, relaxed, family-friendly event. 12-and-under attendees are FREE, so I’m hoping I’ll get to meet some of the students who voted for me, and the librarians and teachers who encouraged them to read and nominate in the first place. Dave Roman and John Green will be tabling with me, in support of their brand-new Teen Boat! graphic novel–perfect for an event that takes place right on the water, in one of the U.S.’s cutest port towns.